Beware, there be pictures of dead raccoons ahead!
It’s 3:30 and Tonks wakes me up with her barking. She has treed two raccoons beside the chicken coop. I try to go back to sleep, but every time I begin to drift off she barks again. So, I give up and sit at the kitchen table surfing Craigslist for things I will never buy. I am wasting time, waiting for it to get light enough to shoot the little bastards. At 4:30, the sky is beginning to brighten and I step out to check. Yep, they are still there, one tucked in a fork of the tree, the other about a meter out from the trunk, draped over a limb. Still to dark to shoot though, so I head back in. 5am and the sun is nearly up. I go out to the coop and both dogs are lying around the tree, staring up at the two interlopers. Definitely light enough now. I head down to my parents house to get the gun. I am frustrated to find that the doors are locked, and now I must wait for Mother to awake.
Back to the kitchen table, to stare across the field and wait for signs of life. The dog tries to come inside and go to sleep. No way is she going to get away with that. I chase her out and tell her to watch the coons. After the sleepless night I’ve had, she gets no pity from me. The sun is up and I head out again. Tonks is resting just outside the door, but quickly leaps to action and races to the tree when I open the door. Nice try dog, but I’m on to you. At least Griswold has maintained the vigil. The coons look like they’ve gone to sleep, hopefully they stay there a little longer. I know some people actually like raccoons, even to the point of feeding them, but if you’ve ever had to clean up after a raccoon attack in the hen house you will understand why I am doing this. So far, in the chicken vs. raccoon tally, the raccoons are still winning by a large margin, and I’m just helping the chicken even the score a little. Seeing as they haven’t mastered firearms yet.
Come on Mother, why do you chose this as the one day ever that you sleep in past 4? I head down to her place to lurk outside the window until she gets up. I might even knock. On my way out the door, I grab the camera and snap a couple pictures on my way to get the gun. Griswold is just shaking with anticipation. I opt for the less creepy option and phone Mother from outside her door. We find the key for the cabinet, I get the gun and head back to the coop.
I set up a stand and take aim. Crack! The raccoon falls to the ground and twitches, I walk up and Crack! finish it off. Back to the stand i go and take aim again. Another hit, but not instantly fatal, the raccoon runs about 2 meteres up the tree before falling to the ground, the dogs rush in and I can hear the coon snarling. I yell at the dogs and they back off, allowing me to put another bullet in just above the ear. I take a few documentary shots with the camera, then take the dogs inside so I can clean-up the mess in peace. I throw the coons on the burn pile, then head off to work. Another day on the farm.
However, here is a cute picture of our new chicks, they are meat birds but they are awfully cute right now!